<
>

Stanford tops list of five Pac-12 teams in preseason coaches poll

Defending Pac-12 champion Stanford will begin the season ranked No. 7 in the Amway Coaches Poll, which was released Thursday.

The Cardinal, which finished last year at No. 3 in the poll, is the top-ranked team from the Pac-12 -- 10 spots ahead of No. 17 USC. The Trojans are followed by No. 18 Washington, No. 22 Oregon and No. 24 UCLA. Utah (73), Washington State (47) and Arizona (2) also received votes.

Of the six Pac-12 teams that appeared in the preseason poll last season, only Stanford and Oregon finished in the final rankings. Utah was unranked to start last season, although it did receive some votes in the preseason, and ended the season at No. 16.

Alabama, USC's Week 1 opponent, received 55 of the 64 possible first-place votes to top the poll. Head coaches Clay Helton (USC), Mike Leach (Washington State), Mike MacIntyre (Colorado), Chris Petersen (Washington), Rich Rodriguez (Arizona) and Kyle Whittingham (Utah) are all voters in the poll.